In Which I write a screenplay for the Cannes Film Festival and get shockingly attacked in the process… theft and dishonesty in “the movie biz”

Jess Anderson & Christine-marie liwag dixon

So… I wrote a screenplay as a favor to a former admirer’s 50 yr old actress wife. I find out later that she was supposed to actually write it herself for Cannes, but she was too busy with her 27 yr old Dutch trailer park lover and his drugs/baby mama probs to write it.

Oh, and I was instructed to not let anyone know she’d been born in 1968, instead of 1970, as her IMBD indicates. Growing old is a blessing, but I digress…

By “admirer”, y’all know what I mean. He had been a good friend, as well. I must’ve had an impact on him, he named his children the names I chose 20 yrs ago-I had no idea he’d been saddled with such a scary problem until much, much later…

She’d been talking to me off and on for a few years, I had no idea she even knew who I was. We followed each other on IG. I was simply friendly and interested in keeping with the niceties. Well, one day she discloses that she knows WHO I am and basically pukes out all her marital and personal problems to me.

I feel SO SORRY for the poor thing and she asks me to write a script for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival because ‘she can’t deal’ with the drama in her life and convinces me that her husband has heinously abused her/never loved her, which is the reason why he allows her to philander.

She tells me ‘they are basically separated, but the hubs is her only source of income’- plus, he CANNOT KNOW I wrote this for her (did I mention it was just days before the Film Festival? MADNESS) and gushes about this director who will be filming it- at the same time, dissing him for lack of as many padded IMDB credits as she has.

Oh, so the ‘actress’ suggests the topic of this screenplay- it is largely a vanity piece. She plays the victim of a cruel husband (which I believed at first) in a loveless marriage- and says the only stipulation she has is that I write a great f*ck scene for her with a sweet, young thang (male)- and it be under 10 pages #shortfilm

She gushes that I am a GREAT writer, she is a super brown noser- but, lemme tell ya, this AIN’T my best writing. It’s what you get in 3 days before Cannes… but I try to deliver, because I have two things I later discover she doesn’t have: #integrity and #workethic

As I write this screenplay, I started out feeling very sad and sympathetic towards her, but as I get to talk to her more, I realize “Damn, this chick is wacky”. The real picture becomes glaringly clear when she tells me that she f*cked her young lover in her marital bed one day and that her hubs discovered a used condom- she then accused the hubs of planting the condom.

I knew her hubs, he is NOT nasty like that. She’s admitted to drug use and to her lover being a junkie. She is smoking cigs, she says, for the first time in her 50 yrs- a pack a day- who DOES THIS?! IDK anyone who suddenly acquires a nicotine addiction at HER age. EVERY story she tells me in the wee hours, typed out in FB msgr, keeps getting weirder and weirder…

I enlist the help of another professional writer to do the love scene. I had a basic idea of how I wanted her to be ‘handled’, but the idea of having this crazy lady nekkid in my mind’s eye after the cray stuff she spewed turned my stomach- the writer did a fantastic job blocking and creating the sex scene-

So, other writer and I happily work on this fluff, gratis, btw- for an IMBD writing credit and because it sounded like a light, fun thing to do- and the phone calls and bizarre msgs from this actress continue to arrive in my inbox.

She sends me photos of some 20-something bikini clad baby mama of her boyfriend’s – she is scattered and won’t work on the writing with me- and all she talks about is her very messed up extracurricular love life.


They also set up the casting call BEFORE WE EVEN FINISHED WRITING THE SCRIPT.

Cannes day arrives and she shows up, after giving up a yachting party, to the filming, per eye witnesses ‘strung out of her mind and wasted’- plus A GOOD 10-15 YRS OLDER than her IG and other pics, due to her recent sudden weight loss. She seriously reminded one of a “Faces of Meth” article- so much so, that I was immediately informed by those doing the shoot- who were also in shock.

Apparently, she didn’t look like that the year prior at Cannes-

I hear from her and the director that they had tentatively cast the roles with working actors- but after arriving in Canne she suddenly decides TO WALK THE STREETS LOOKING TO REPLACE THEM WITH NEW CO STARS, because she didn’t like who the director originally had suggested. WTF?! Everything was based on who she found, drunkenly, sexually attractive- per her disjointed texts to me.  

Fast forward to the end, it is shot in a record 7 HOURS, at which point she bombards IG and FB with excerpts from this ‘incredible epic film’… and she spends the rest of the film festival complaining  to me on fb messenger, when I’d check in to see if she was still alive- that her husband didn’t give her more than 250 euros for the trip, she had only 60 euros left, and couldn’t afford to eat- but was living off the free champagne and begging male friends (including the co stars ‘discovered’ on the streets) for lodgings.

At this point, things get blurry. The filmmaker (who doesn’t speak French) asks me to translate what the French husband was saying in the opening scene on the telephone- the dude was speaking gibberish, nothing salvageable for the film… he wanted to salvage it by either a voiceover (I felt like doing this would turn out like a bad 1960’s Godzilla dub) or a musical score to ‘set the tone’, since the male ‘actors’ were not actually professional actors at all.

The actress continues with her weirdness once she is back home in Belgium. She sends me msgs from ‘friends’ of hers who are accusing her of stealing their work. She is obviously strung out and not all there. She gets super paranoid. Once she finds out that I was assisting the filmmaker with post-production, she lost her MIND.

She keeps offering “if we don’t like it” to remove us from the writing credits, even though I told her again and again that we want our credits no matter how it turned out.  We send the script, as is, to the lawyers for copyright and published the Kindle version immediately. She was not pleased.

She twisted everything with the director, telling him WE WANTED to wrest control of this silly thing from them. She whined and gaslighted and manipulated. She would flatter, then cajole, then threaten me. That type of thing might work with other people, but Mama doesn’t play that.

Emotional terrorism is not cool.

I am currently going through a cancer health scare- and my sister currently has cancer as well.

A family member in CA was in a catastrophic motorcycle accident in December- I had been caring for them all winter in San Diego and am only back home in the midwest for my own health issues.

This writing project was supposed to simply be a nice little distraction, a way to create something positive and fun.

I did it for FREE. I DON’T need the money.

She had the nerve to infer that I was using my health issues as a way to take the spotlight from her and gain sympathy. I was shocked.

When I wrote today, in a group chat, that I forgave her for her transgressions and that an apology would be nice, or even that she should just come out and say what bugged her instead of twisting and turning people against each other, she flipped out.

She FINALLY OUTDID HERSELF TODAY:

S: “What’s your phone number?”

Me: “xxx-xxx-xxxx”

A screaming and slurring drunken French- speaking woman calls, not even the actress. She threatens me. I turn on the speaker phone so that the people in the room with me can hear as well.

CRAZY FRENCH CHICK (I believe her name is Marie- and she spoke in French accented English: “I am REEECH AND ‘AVE MONEEEY AND I WILL COME TO AMEREECA AND BEEEAT YOU UPPP, leave S alone”

Me (calmly and in French):Parle en français, madame- il y a un enfant ici et tu parles comme TRAILER TRASH”

(Translation:Speak English, madame, there is a child here and you sound like trailer trash)- I had a three year old in the room and these harpies couldn’t even do more than screech and hang up- it wasn’t even the actress, she used her friend to attack.

I tell the group chat with director and other writer what just transpired, and THEY CALL AGAIN, this time, I am able to video witnesses to this.

I tell the woman in French again to speak in French and they hang up when I do speak her language.

WHAT KIND OF CRAZY DOES THIS SH*T?!  

I tell the group again what transpired, the actress leaves the chat in a huff and blocks me.

END SCENE.

(Thank goodness)

Later, I discovered that a long time friend of hers also received the same shabby treatment. She had, apparently, a reputation for promising film credits for her little vanity films and would steal the material for herself.

No, what we wanted is fair treatment. You don’t steal from those who are there to help you. Karma is a b*tch. Play nice, especially to your writers. Don’t be a grabby, greedy, thirsty passive-aggressive little c*nt. THIS is why you have no real friends. This is why ugly from the soul is showing on your face.

If people didn’t do as she asked (or implied), she’d play a victim.

If you push back, she attacks.

I feel badly for her husband and kids and the other innocents she’s hurt.

I don’t feel badly for writing this.

Someone has to stand up to this anti-feminist, disempowered, passive-aggressive, drug addled pseudo-bully.

I told her once: “You are the polar opposite of Me”– and I am ok with that.

She must hurt a lot in her skin to hurt others like this.

I say this because I have been blessed with ways of dealing with MY aggressions.

I am a healthier person in my ‘old age’

Also, my non-white self is NOT SCARED OF YOU or your little friends, who can’t be THAT rich if they can’t even lend you money for a hotel in Cannes.

I can’t even imagine a world where I’d have to beg or have sex written into a scene in order to get a man to want to do me. That alone left me gobsmacked.

End rant.

Btw, here is the actual kindle link to the screenplay- I would not buy it, personally. Not our best work.

2 thoughts on “In Which I write a screenplay for the Cannes Film Festival and get shockingly attacked in the process… theft and dishonesty in “the movie biz”

  1. Pingback: Lest We Forget- Cannes Version | Miss Maisie and Me

  2. Pingback: Vind wat je zoekt… | Miss Maisie and Me

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